That Summer is a film directed by Phillipe Garrel, co-written with Marc Chodolenko and Caroline Deruas. It premiered in competition at the 2011 Venice International Film Festival.
With a cast I adore, a director I respect, and voted 6th best film of 2011 by Cahiers du cinéma, this was one of my most anticipated pictures of the year. Unfortunately this recipe once again delivered another great disappointment.
This languid story of two couples with Rome as a backdrop has shades of Jean Luc Godard's Contempt, but displays none of the captivating insight or beautiful imagery of that masterpiece. It's a bland and unstimulating character sketch that goes nowhere and says nothing. I have to hand it to the director though, it really takes a great degree of skill to make a nude Monica Bellucci boring to watch.
The only thing slightly redeemable here is John Cale's sparingly used but excellent soundtrack, a couple of mildly interesting movie making sequences, and a lovely dance floor scene that takes place midway through the film. A great scene, but it's not nearly enough to save this one. Avoid avoid avoid.